BUENOS AIRES – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy met with Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Tuesday, with the two leaders saying they agree fully on the path their countries must follow toward economic prosperity, a course that includes adopting “courageous” reforms and creating international confidence.
Macri and Rajoy met at the Casa Rosada on the first day of the Spanish premier’s visit to Buenos Aires, the first by a Spanish prime minister in the last 10 years.
In a courteous gesture, the Argentine president – before their meeting – also attended the business forum organized for the Spanish leader’s visit, a move that Spanish sources said they especially appreciated.
At the business forum, Macri and Rajoy expressed their complete agreement on the game plan that must be followed to achieve public well-being and they were generous in their praise of each other.
The Spaniard encouraged his host to persevere – and vice versa – in implementing “courageous” and “difficult” reforms, because he believes that, along with budget stability, that is the formula resulting in economic growth.
Meanwhile, Macri said that his government is continuing along the “same course” of economic reforms taken by his “friend” Rajoy in Spain, which he characterized as a “very good example” to follow, and he earnestly encouraged Spanish companies to invest in Argentina.
“We Argentines learn from our mistakes, we want to be trustworthy, credible, predictable and so we are working to improve our institutions every day and to establish very clear rules of the game,” he said.
Later, at a Casa Rosada press conference, Rajoy said that they both agreed that to generate wealth they must offer seriousness, legal security and be predictable.
Macri expressed his respect for Rajoy’s “leadership, honesty and drive” and for the way he has led Spain during a difficult time after a deep crisis similar to the one that he faced upon coming to power in Argentina.
The two men believe they can jointly facilitate the finalization of an agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, the South American trade bloc consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Rajoy expressed his full support for such an agreement and Macri emphasized that both of them feel it is a great opportunity and believe that it will soon become a reality.
The pair also expressed their agreement over the situation in Venezuela with neither one being willing to recognize the result of the upcoming May 20 election and asserting that “the only solution” for Caracas is to “return the floor” to the people “without threats.”
Macri also relayed to Rajoy an invitation for King Felipe VI to make a state visit to Argentina after the March 2019 International Congress of Spanish in Cordoba, Argentina.
He also hosted Rajoy and the rest of his delegation at a luncheon attended by some 400 invited guests at the Casa Rosada.
Rajoy on Tuesday began the official agenda of his trip to Buenos Aires by laying a floral tribute at the monument of Gen. Jose de San Martin, one of the heroes of Argentine independence.